The feeling was almost like a lottery on Friday’s closing day at Gulfstream Park as fans at the track and around the country combined to bet just over $5.2 million on the Pick 6.
Those who had the wining horse in each of the last races were rewarded with a payoff of $4,234.01. There were 1,461 winning tickets.
Some of those Pick 6 winners might try to reinvest a portion on Saturday at Calder Casino & Race Course.
Calder will open its season with the $250,000 Calder Darby at 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 3-year-olds.
Gulfstream’s Pick 6 bet is 10 cents only in denomination; bettors can have multiple horses per race and thus have tickets with several hundred combinations.
Gulfstream usually pays out the full Pick 6 pool only on days when there is just one winning ticket.
On closing day, it pays out the full pool, including a carryover.
On Friday, the Gulfstream Pick 6 pool was its highest ever — $7.2 million through a combination of $2.9 million carryover and Friday’s new bets.
Running Wildcat, at 7-1 in the 10th race, was the highest price winner in the Pick 6 sequence.
The likely favorite in the Calder Derby is Speak Logistics. He is a stakes winner and a stablemate of Itsmyluckyday, the winner of this year’s Holy Bull (Grade 3) and second-place finisher in the Florida Derby (Grade 1) at Gulfstream Park.
Calder will open with 12 races. First post time is 12:50 p.m. on Saturday and throughout its race meet.
But Calder’s schedule of days is different this year because of a bitter dispute with Gulfstream Park over racing dates.
Calder, in Miami Gardens, will have racing Thursdays through Sundays until June 30.
After that, it will have racing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from July 2013 through June 2014
Gulfstream’s schedule includes every Saturday and Sunday from July 2013 through June 2014.
Unless one decides to seek special permission from state regulators for a schedule change, the two tracks will race on the same days for the first time.
For several years, Calder has had racing from early April through the end of November, and Gulfstream has had it the other months,
In recent years, Calder has run the Calder Derby on turf.
The shift to dirt is the start of Calder’s plan to build a schedule of 3-year-old stakes that it hopes will be competitive with Gulfstream’s program, said John Marshall, Calder’s vice president and general manager of racing,
The Calder Derby has an eight-horse field headed by Speak Logistics and Sr. Quisqyeyano.
Speak Logistics won last year’s 1 1/16-mile In Reality Stakes at Calder. This year, he finished fourth in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (Grade 3) at Tampa Bay Downs and third in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream.
Sr. Quisqyeyano had a win and three second-place finishes in stakes at Calder last year.
He has not raced since Feb. 23 when he finished seventh in the Fountain of Youth. Since then, he has had a series of fast workouts at Calder for his trainer Luis Olivares. Eddie Plesa Jr. trains Speak Logistics and Itsmyluckyday. The two colts have different owners.